American Airlines’ New “Project Kodiak” Planes

Filed Under: American

Well, it looks like American has started the process of improving their “Oasis” cabins… but only in first class.

What are American Airlines Oasis planes?

“Oasis” is what American calls the new cabins that they’re introducing on many of their narrow body planes. Specifically, we’re talking about the dense new cabins with limited legroom and no personal televisions.

American Airlines 737 Oasis economy cabin

This project started with the Boeing 737 MAX, but since then American has also started to reconfigure 737-800s and A321s with these interiors (and A321neos are being delivered with these interiors).

American acknowledges problems with Oasis first class

In May 2019 I wrote about how American was allegedly considering changing their Oasis interiors. My hope was that they’d backtrack completely, and see the value in offering somewhat comfortable cabins with personal televisions.

But that wasn’t the plan. As was reported at the time, the plan was for:

  • American to keep the same Oasis economy seats, presumably because they didn’t feel they were losing economy customers because of the interiors
  • American to make improvements to their Oasis first class seats, including better seat padding, making under seat storage possible, adding USB outlets and tablet holders, and more

American Airlines 737 Oasis first class cabin

American launches “Project Kodiak”

As reported by the always knowledgable, @xJonNYC, American has now started the process of retrofitting their already retrofitted Oasis aircraft, and this is internally being called “Project Kodiak.”

So far planes with the registration codes N979AN, N870NN, N915NN, and N955NN, have been taken out of service for these changes to be made (it looks like the work is happening in Tulsa, and maybe Greensboro?). The project is expected to continue at a fast pace, so if you notice a different first class interior on Oasis planes, that’s why.

American 737-800

So this is at least some good news for interiors that are otherwise bad news.

What’s also unfortunate here is that one of the 737s being reconfigured features personal televisions. A fairly small percentage of American’s 737s have personal televisions, and up until now American’s plan was for those to be the last planes to be reconfigured with Oasis interiors. But it looks like they’ve changed their mind on that.

What’s equally bizarre is that it’s my understanding that American is making these changes separate from Oasis retrofits. So if my understanding is correct, American is reconfiguring planes with Oasis interiors (with the bad first class seats that they plan to remove), and then separately those planes will eventually go in for the Project Kodiak retrofits.

That seems so unbelievable that I hope that information is just wrong, because it just doesn’t make sense. Similarly, it would mean that in the short term the 737 with personal televisions would have TVs in economy but not first class.

Bottom line

American Airlines is now starting the process of “fixing” their Project Oasis first class seats, which have been unpopular. So if you’re flying on an Oasis plane and notice different first class seats, that’s why. Unfortunately nothing is being done for economy passengers, though.

What’s also sad is that the first American 737 with personal televisions is being retrofitted to have those removed.

The first Project Kodiak plane should be in service soon, and if that’s the case, please report back if you see one of these in the “wild.”

  1. How can they make under seat storage possible ? Are they adding legroom ? So they remove a row of seats ?

  2. @D3KingAmerican
    I believe right now, they supports for the seats are in the middle (aligned with the economy seat supports). Likely, they’ll move them to the sides so you can place a bag or your legs there, rather than having to straddle the support.

  3. No video monitors is such a bummer. Delta is putting them everywhere and American is yanking them off.

  4. Boeing and American make a really great team these days! Both with management that seem to be only consistent in making lousy decisions!

  5. After realizing I was not going to make EXP or even Pro this year, I started my Delta status match a month and a half ago. While Delta does a good amount of things better, AA was better in some respects, including leg room on some aircraft. Seems my timing was just about right to switch.

  6. Wait, so let me get this straight. People complain about the lack of legroom, blocked in part by the boxes that support the personal tv’s, but also complain when the tv’s are removed which in turn increases legroom.

    Pick a complaint.

  7. @ Annoyed — Those boxes aren’t for the TVs. The Oasis planes have the boxes but don’t have TVs…

  8. It would be a benefit to remove the TV screens since someone had the horrible idea to put the box that houses the electronics at your feet. May help with over head storage since the area under seat is usless except for a purse.

  9. I have taken American Airlines off my radar for good, not even considering them unless they’re literally the only option I have

  10. Why don’t we address the lack of decency and the way people dress when traveling. People pay good money and then sit next to someone in sweats and flip flops.

  11. United and Delta are putting American to shame. They need to wake up, people are even considering Jetblue over them. So, what does that tell you? Even with limited gates in Dallas and Miami Delta is increasing their presents Chicago has United the only place it really is going to have difficulty is Charlotte that’s where they have the Monopoly but it was like that when it was US Airways so that’s no big deal.

  12. The airlines are behaving like taxis did for decades when they had an absolute monopoly; increasingly expensive and unpleasant. When Uber and Lyft came into being, the taxi companies finally had to start providing a decent product at a decent price. One of these days, people will have an option to conduct business without having to use commercial cattle buses, perhaps high-speed trains or really good video conferencing. Or something. At that point, these cattle cars will go out of business. As a 2-million mile flyer with United, and with a huge amount of unused miles, I still don’t go out of my way to get on planes any more now that i am retired. I’d rather drive to take a train. May they all go out of business!

  13. Why is everyone complaining? Less legroom = cheaper tickets. If you want a more luxurious trip then you can pay for it, pretty simple and options for everyone.

  14. AA’s complete lack of talent and vision is appalling. So glad a SFL friend mocked an AAnalyst who wrote on Linkedin that AA “is the best airline on earth” LOL

  15. Doug Parker and the rest of the America West people are turning AA into the former. I have been in FC on AA 737 and USAir A321. The AA plane had enough room to get out of the window seat without the aisle person getting up. On the USAir plane, not even possible. Also the person reclined to within about 12 inches from my face.

  16. American offers a vastly inferior seating product in both classes. My first class seat in the 737-8 to and from Seattle from Chicago was short on padding and legroom. UA and DA are both better seats. I would argue that AA first class seats in Super 80s were far superior in comfort and space.
    I recommend commenting on the discomfort and inferior product on AA’s Facebook page.

  17. I just wanna say, love DL and WN. I had not flown on AA in years. I flew TYS-LGA on a brand new E75. It was Quite comfortable in First. Although the seat didn’t recline, it was more padded on the tired CRJ700 F class seat on the return. I am a big dude. Always have to get a seat belt extension on DL F class.

    I am in the travel industry and AA by far user to be the best with Crandall, went down hill with Kirby, on in the black hole of crap with Doug Parker. He’s the Frank Lorenzo or travel. Though I had one good flight in 15 years with AA, it’ll be another 15 years before I take one again. I get the most complains of any airline on AA. As someone who sells them, I wish they’d go out of business. Their customer staff is rude on the phone, and all they do is tell you what they can’t do for you! They don’t even have fragile stickers anymore. Delta and WN go out of their ways to make sure things are not broken. I will admit, not too happy with WN as much anymore. Their flights are late, and they too really don’t care. Their seats now have 30” pitch with 17” across. A flight attendant told me that. It’s horrible flying anymore. At least Delta tries to make it work. The movie screens help a lot!

  18. Some of us don’t have a lot of choice. Many smaller regional airports, such as mine SJT only carry the AA product. And it’s a minimum 3 hour drive to get to a major airport. I travel extensively and reached Platinum status last year. I’ll have to say, 2019 was the WORST year of travel delays and flight cancellations that I’ve ever experienced. Over 50%…. So much that this year I sucked it up and bought an Admiral club pass so I could at least be comfortable and work somewhere quiet and get a bite to eat during these delays.

  19. I e flown these planes and as a small 5’4 woman, had trouble moving in the cheap seats, even before the pac in from moved his seat back. I felt then I was in a straitjacket. Why will AA not listen to it’s passengers? Entertainment, power for devices, and polite Helpful employees! Right now it is a few based managerial style with people who would step o ER a dollar to get to a penny running the company!!! Ugh!!

  20. I have a friend who is related to someone that works at AA. She says its horrible and they have no direction and everything is monetized. For example in the old days if you had a middle seat and wanted an aisle seat and one was available no problem. They now say the company sees aisle seats as revenue, and if she makes the change and doesn’t charge the customer, its a lot of paperwork to justify it. Now she says its not worth the effort. Time for AA management to get their heads out of their ass.

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